Nasal Strips vs Nasal Dilators: Are They Valid Snoring Solutions?

Are you tossing and turning all night, battling the persistent sound of snoring - either your own or your partner's? You’re not alone! It’s estimated that 1 out of 4 adults snore regularly. (1)


In your search for a good night's sleep, you may have come across nasal strips and nasal dilators as potential solutions, but are they effective at reducing snoring? 


This article breaks down the key differences, pros, and cons of nasal strips vs nasal dilators to help you find out which solution is best to bring you the quiet night you’ve been looking for. 

What Are Nasal Dilators?


Nasal dilators are small devices, usually made from medical-grade plastic or silicon, designed to fit inside the nostrils to reduce snoring and improve airflow. 


They are also sometimes known as nasal stents and are commonly used by individuals with nasal obstructions, such as deviated septums or congestion due to chronic allergies or infections.


Nasal dilators are discrete and come in various sizes and designs to suit different preferences, offering an easy, affordable solution for those seeking relief from nasal breathing difficulties.


How Does a Nasal Dilator Work?


A nasal dilator works by physically expanding the nasal passages from within to improve airflow. This involves inserting a small, soft device into each nostril, which then gently pushes outward against the walls of the nasal passages. 


This process reduces the resistance to incoming air, which can make breathing smoother and easier. By widening the nostrils, nasal dilators could help reduce snoring and enhance oxygen intake (particularly in those with obstructive nasal conditions).


This simple, non-surgical approach could help provide some immediate relief from nasal congestion, particularly during sleep or exercise. (2)


You can also learn more in our guide about other effective ways to widen your nasal passages naturally.


Do Nose Dilators Fix Snoring?


Nasal dilators can help reduce snoring in some people, particularly when the snoring originates from blockages or nasal congestion, but they might not be effective for everyone.


By expanding the nostrils and improving nasal airflow, these devices minimize the airway resistance that can cause soft tissues in the throat to vibrate, which is what leads to that oh-so-familiar snoring sound (and also why you may sometimes wake up with a sore throat!).


However, their effectiveness varies depending on the underlying cause of the snoring. If snoring is primarily due to nasal obstruction issues, nasal dilators may provide significant relief. 


We’ve also written a comprehensive guide about why you might be struggling with nasal congestion.


For snoring caused by other factors, such as chronic mouth breathing, nasal dilators may offer limited benefits, and mouth taping may be more effective.


Pros of Nasal Dilators

  • Improves nasal airflow
  • Reduces snoring in some individuals
  • Reusable and cost-effective
  • Portable 


Cons of Nasal Dilators

  • Limited effectiveness depending on the cause of snoring
  • Can cause nasal passage discomfort, irritation, or dryness
  • Requires an adjustment period since an internal dilator can feel invasive
  • Nasal dilators can harbor bacteria, so they need to be cleaned frequently

What Are Nasal Strips?


Nasal strips are small adhesive strips that are applied to the outside of the nose to help improve airflow through the nasal passages. 


This non-invasive method could lead to a reduction in snoring and an improvement in sleep quality for some users; however, the results from studies are mixed. (3) (4) 


Using nasal strips is a popular practice among athletes to enhance air intake during exercise, but unfortunately, little evidence suggests they actually improve performance. (5)


They are also commonly used by individuals seeking a drug-free alternative to relieve nasal congestion from colds and allergies and to promote better breathing at night.


How Does a Nasal Strip Work?


When applied across the bridge of the nose, nasal strips work by gently opening the nostrils from the outside, thanks to the spring-like action of the tape strip, which helps pull the nostrils open. 


Widening the nasal passages increases the area through which air can flow into the nasal cavities, reducing the resistance to incoming air and making breathing through the nose easier.


Through this mechanism, nasal strips may help alleviate breathing difficulties caused by congestion.


Do Nose Strips Fix Snoring?


Nose strips might reduce snoring in individuals whose snoring is primarily caused by nasal congestion or minor blockages in the nasal passages; however, some research suggests they are ineffective. (3)


Like nasal dilators, nasal strips work to support better airflow through the nose, which could reduce the need for mouth breathing, a common contributor to snoring. 


However, if mouth breathing is the main cause of someone's snoring, a solution like mouth tape might be more appropriate in order to find relief.


Similarly to nasal dilators, the efficacy of nasal strips varies depending on the root cause of someone’s snoring. Therefore, while they can be a part of the solution for some, they are definitely not a universal fix for all types of snoring.


Pros of Nasal Strips

  • Non-invasive and easy to apply
  • Less risk of dependency compared to nasal dilators
  • Quick relief from nasal congestion
  • Readily available


Cons of Nasal Strips

  • Not suitable for re-use
  • Potential skin irritation from tape adhesive
  • Limited efficacy depending on the cause of snoring
  • Can fall off during sleep


Nose Strips vs Nasal Dilators: Which is Better for Snoring?


Choosing between nose strips and nasal dilators for snoring depends on your needs, preferences, and the root cause of your snoring. 


By helping to open the nasal passages externally, nose strips might be effective for those looking for a more non-invasive solution for snoring that is primarily due to nasal congestion or slight blockages.


On the other hand, nasal dilators might be better suited to individuals who require a more direct approach to widening the nostrils from the inside or who have tried nasal strips with no success.


Nasal dilators are also a better choice for anyone who prefers to invest in a reusable product.


Mouth tape can also be used in conjunction with nasal strips or nasal dilators to boost their efficacy, leading to significantly better results by getting to the root cause of snoring.




Try Dream Recovery Mouth Tape and start sleeping more soundly than ever.


Alternative Solutions For Snoring


  • Mouth tape: By eliminating one of the most common causes of snoring: mouth breathing, mouth tape can be an effective sleep aid to support healthier nasal breathing and a deeper, more restorative sleep. (6)

  • If you're looking for the best mouth tape, look no further than Dream Recovery. Our Mouth Tape is made from organic bamboo silk and has a sturdy but gentle hypoallergenic adhesive, offering the most luxuriously soft mouth taping experience on the market, which stays on all night while being suitable for even the most sensitive skin. 


    Transform your sleep today with Dream Recovery Mouth Tape.


  • Anti-snoring pillows: By encouraging a better sleeping position, anti-snoring pillows can help keep the airways open, reducing snoring. (7)

  • They are usually designed to provide support that elevates the head and neck to prevent the tongue and soft tissues in the throat from collapsing into the airways, which is a common cause of snoring.

    • CPAP therapy: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) reduces snoring by delivering pressurized air through a mask to help keep the airway open during sleep. (8)

    Using a CPAP machine can be uncomfortable and difficult to adjust to, so they are most commonly only used when absolutely necessary by those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Though, there are some CPAP alternatives (always speak to your Doctor first).

  • Avoid alcohol before bedtime: Alcohol consumption can relax the muscles in the throat and jaw, leading to a greater chance of airway obstruction and the resulting vibrations that cause snoring. (9)

  • Avoid sleeping on your back: Side sleeping can help prevent the tongue and soft tissues in the throat from collapsing into the airway, which might reduce snoring.

  • Conclusion


    As snoring solutions, nasal strips, and nasal dilators offer non-surgical options for nasal congestion.


    While nasal dilators focus on expanding the nostrils from within to improve airflow, nasal strips externally open up the nasal passages with a spring-like strip across the bridge of the nose. 


    Their effectiveness varies by individual and depends on the root cause of snoring.


    Some individuals also prefer the reusable nature of nasal dilators, while some prefer nasal strips since they are less invasive.


    Ultimately, they both aim to widen the nasal passages to reduce air resistance and vibrations within the throat's soft tissues. 


    However, for those whose snoring is caused by chronic mouth breathing, a high-quality mouth tape would be the best solution to promote healthy nasal breathing, reduce snoring, and improve overall health.




    Try Dream Recovery’s Mouth Tape and start sleeping more soundly than ever.




    1. John Hopkins Medicine, n.d. Why do people snore? Answers for better health. 
    2. Gelardi, M., Intiglietta, P., Porro, G., Quaranta, V. N., Resta, O., Quaranta, N., & Ciprandi, G. (2019). Internal nasal dilator in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Acta bio-medica : Atenei Parmensis, 90(2-S), 19–23.
    3. Noss, M. J., Ciesla, R., & Shanga, G. (2019). Sleep Quality and Congestion with Breathe Right Nasal Strips: Two Randomized Controlled Trials. Advances in therapy, 36(8), 1975–1985. 
    4. Gosepath, J., Mann, W. J., & Amedee, R. G. (1997). Effects of the Breathe Right nasal strips on nasal ventilation. American journal of rhinology, 11(5), 399–402.
    5. O'Kroy J. A. (2000). Oxygen uptake and ventilatory effects of an external nasal dilator during ergometry. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 32(8), 1491–1495.
    6. Lee, Y. C., Lu, C. T., Cheng, W. N., & Li, H. Y. (2022). The Impact of Mouth-Taping in Mouth-Breathers with Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Preliminary Study. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 10(9), 1755.
    7. Cazan, D., Mehrmann, U., Wenzel, A., & Maurer, J. T. (2017). The effect on snoring of using a pillow to change the head position. Sleep & breathing = Schlaf & Atmung, 21(3), 615–621.
    8. Berry, R. B., & Block, A. J. (1984). Positive nasal airway pressure eliminates snoring as well as obstructive sleep apnea. Chest, 85(1), 15–20. 
    9. Burgos-Sanchez, C., Jones, N. N., Avillion, M., Gibson, S. J., Patel, J. A., Neighbors, J., Zaghi, S., & Camacho, M. (2020). Impact of Alcohol Consumption on Snoring and Sleep Apnea: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Otolaryngology.
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